Fostering Better Communication

By providing a platform for the sharing of information, resources, communication and experiences of those living their final days fully, the vision of Life Matters Media is to create a community for ones facing the end of life and for those that care for them. Ultimately, we seek to foster a greater understanding of the capacity that end of life decisions have to nurture the human spirit.

Stories

Personal narratives of challenges, decisions and triumphs.

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Medicine

Clear, concise analysis of research impacting you and your family.

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Experts

Columnists provide multi-disciplinary expertise to help you plan ahead.

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Newswire

One-stop, comprehensive aggregate of end of life issues in the media.

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President’s Report

LEARN, GIVE THANKS AND RESOLVE!

Dear Friends,

We are thrilled to announce a great honor and opportunity for supporters: Life Matters Media has been awarded a $40,000 matching grant from the MR Bauer Foundation. The generosity of this Chicago-based philanthropic organization and its belief in our work has sparked our “Learn, Give Thanks and Resolve” campaign running now through December 31st.

STEP ONE: LEARN
As our children, grandchildren and even some of us head back to school this season, we ask you to get back to learning, too. Life Matters Media invites you to learn how best to take care of those you love most: dig into our website and determine how to talk about your end of life wishes with loved ones.Get to know their preferences as well! 

When you do, send us a message about what you found most helpful at lifemattersmedia.org as you begin this process. Such feedback can better guide us as we grow. 

Need some help getting started? The following link may provide a good introduction to some of the challenges and goals of such a conversation. Mary and I recorded a segment with StoryCorps about our personal perspectives on end of life decision-making that aired August 29th on WBEZ. Listen in!

STEP TWO: GIVE THANKS
We are immensely grateful for the vote of confidence extended to us by the MR Bauer Foundation; the foundation will generously contribute an equal amount as our supporters donate through the end of 2014. If we can raise $40,000, we receive $40,000 more! 

This funding is needed to increase capacity of not only website content, but our educational work throughout the Chicago area. This fall alone, we are making more than twenty visits to City of Chicago senior centers and providing post-show talks at each of the Time of Your Life Players’ fall performances. We are presenting summaries of what we do at both the Palliative Care Symposium in Boston and the Association of Bioethics and Humanities Conference in San Diego. Colleagues will hear and hopefully learn from our community-centric advance care planning model. 

We have a full calendar of education and discussion, and there are more events  being added each week. It takes funding, passion and time. We can provide the latter two, but we are asking for your help with the first. Here’s what you can do:

Consider a donation of $50 in memory of someone you wish you could have talked to about his or her end of life preferences. 

Consider a donation of $50 in honor of someone with whom you have already had this conversation. 

If you have reviewed our website or attended one of our educational programs, a $10 donation would be a great way to participate in this campaign. That $10 will turn to $20 through the generosity of the MR Bauer Foundation!


You can donate online: http://www.lifemattersmedia.org/take-action/donate/

You can also send donations through mail:
Life Matters Media
517 North Racine Unit 2
Chicago, IL 60642


Because we are so thrifty, our web-based donation system is bare-bones. There is a small space to make a note of a memorial or honorary gift, but if you would like to tell us more about the person you are remembering, please tell us about it in an email to me at randi@lifemattersmedia.org. You can even send a picture of the loved one you are honoring!

We wish to create a special page online to mark our progress and those making it possible. Let us know why you are donating and a little something about the person you are thinking of when doing so. We will, in turn, honor that gift on our site. We look forward to sharing your stories and making your money go far. Thank you!
 
STEP THREE: RESOLVE
There’s one more step in this three-part process, now that you’ve already learned about end of life decision-making and supported our work in helping others learn about it as well. We also invite you to resolve to have such a conversation with someone else. Share your end of life preferences, and then learn theirs. 

When you do, let us know! Tell us how the conversation went, and perhaps even consider letting us share some of your thoughts about it online! Throughout this campaign, we would like to collect your stories about this conversation, as Mary and I did in the segment above. Share the gift of experience with others looking to get started themselves. If you would like to participate in this new media audio initiative, or just let us know how “Step Three” turned out – please email me at randi@lifemattersmedia.org.

That’s our campaign! Easy!
 



If you haven’t been to our website lately, here are some items of note:

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin staff writer John Rooney submitted this timely guest essay about his ALS diagnosis and hopes for his future care. We are honored to share such a personal story, and we invite you to consider sending us the same. We take pride in our patient-centric, community model to these tough issues, so help us keep it that way in considering sharing such a story. Thanks so much to John. http://bit.ly/1pn3MfI

The following story written for Reuters Health has been widely circulated among physician and patient organizations, and it has sparked much discussion online. Have you heard of barriers in getting adequate pain relief? http://bit.ly/1ou98pk

Updates to the Illinois POLST form have been signed into law in Illinois. Now, not only doctors – but advance practice nurses, physician assistants and certain medical residents – can sign this end of life medical order. We see this as a big step for end of life care in our home state; Mary and I both serve on the Illinois POLST Task Force. http://bit.ly/1ppPTDA

LEARN!
GIVE THANKS!
RESOLVE!


Warmly,

Randi Belisomo
President and Co-Founder

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Life Matters Media’s Mission

Life Matters Media aims to be the premiere provider of information, resources and support for all involved in end of life decision-making. Through fostering better communication, we will empower the ill, aged, caregivers, surrogates and medical providers to navigate this life phase with confidence and dignity.

Life Matters Media’s Values

  • All individuals should have the ability to participate in decisions that affect their destinies.
  • Multiple and varied voices create a richer and more productive marketplace for the exchange of information.
  • A broad range of choices surrounding end of life issues exists. These choices should be considered carefully.
  • Neutral platforms are best to explore this journey and bring end of life issues to the forefront in a reflective forum.

Your Opinion Matters

Website Feedback
Attitudinal Research


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Life Matters Media is a 501(c)(3) organization. We are grateful for your support in our mission.

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Testimonials

What’s New

Not Dead YetPhysician Assisted Suicide Conference Draws Supporters And Opponents To Chicago

Hundreds of patients, ethicists and medical providers attended the World Federation Conference in downtown Chicago to voice support for physician-assisted suicide, also known as “death with dignity.” The conference, made up of 49 right-to-die organizations from around the world, also drew numerous protestors from religious and disability rights groups.

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A Simple Change? The IOM Report On “Dying In America”

Say there was a simple change to the health care system that would reduce cost, reduce demand, increase quality of life and satisfaction, address the patient and not just the disease, improve care coordination and increase patient autonomy. This change is possible, but it requires addressing the problem that in America, we do not die in the manner we wish.

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Featured News

StoryCorps Chicago: Talking About Death

Co-Founders Dr. Mary F. Mulcahy and Randi Belisomo talk about their decision to launch LMM.

Randi Belisomo and Loyola Bioethics Institute's Mark Kuczewski Discuss Study Findings Regarding Medical Students' Concerns about Becoming Desensitized to Dying Patients

"End of Life Care in a Changing Health Care Environment: The Impact of the Affordable Care Act and Accountable Care Organizations" was presented to a live audience gathered at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management on November 13th.

Time of Your Life Players Presents "Bud's Café Redux"

Time

Chicago’s only theater company composed of senior actors announces its 11th original musical comedy. Join Life Maters Media for a post-show discussion. Shows run October 22nd through November 22nd.

Chicago End-of-Life Care Coalition Presents "Final Chapters: An Afternoon of Stories" on Nov. 9

CECC Fall Benefit Save the Date

Our Stories

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Life Matters Newswire

09/19/2014 - Physician Assisted Suicide Conference Draws Supporters And Opponents To Chicago

We think there are a lot of well-intentioned people here. Most of them have the best of intentions, but they refuse to stop…

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09/16/2014 - Doctors View End Of Life Care More Positively Than Nurses

Physicians tend to view end of life care more positively than nurses, according to a new survey of health care providers in Germany…

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09/09/2014 - Support For Medicare Coverage Of End Of Life Discussions Among Providers

Many medical providers, end of life care activists and hospice nurses support Medicare reimbursement for end of life conversations between physicians and patients.…

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